Evil Sisters: The Threat of Female Sexuality and the Cult of Manhood

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Alfred A. Knopf, 1996 - 480 síđur
Bram Dijkstra's new book, ten years in work, is a stunning inquiry into the idea of woman as seductress: how, in many areas of twentieth-century high and popular culture, the female came to be portrayed as a regressive, primitive force whose sexuality could destroy the social order, undermining the supremacy of the white male - and shows the devastating historical effects of this portrayal. Dijkstra begins his analysis with the 1915 silent film A Fool There Was, in which Theda Bara first embodied our century's vision of the Vamp - kohl-eyed, predatory, seducing respectable men and destroying them with her voracious appetite. The part played by turn-of-the-century biologists, gynecologists, psychologists, geneticists, and sociologists in helping to develop distorted ideas of gender, sex, and race is examined. And Dijkstra shows how these distortions have been reflected in painting; in popular and literary fiction, from Bram Stoker's Dracula to the novels of Conrad, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, and Faulkner; and in cinema's femmes fatales, from Louise Brooks, Garbo, and Dietrich to the fatal women of the 1990s. Finally, the book makes shockingly clear how the parallel paths of the new style of misogyny and racism merged in the 1920s during the rise of nationalist politics - converging in Hitler's Mein Kampf and the politics of genocide.

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LibraryThing Review

Umsögn notanda  - Big_Bang_Gorilla - LibraryThing

Being an examination of the contemporary world's obsession with women who are evil and/or dominant. The book is a continuation of the author's masterpiece Idols of Perversity, which approached the ... Read full review

Evil sisters: the threat of female sexuality and the cult of manhood

Umsögn notanda  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Dijkstra (Idols of Perversity: Fantasies of Feminine Evil in Fin-de-Siecle Culture, Oxford Univ., 1986) provides another scholarly work that reveals the historical basis for gender and race imagery ... Read full review

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